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tv   FEMA in Houston  CSPAN  September 21, 2017 11:59am-12:12pm EDT

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[background sounds] [background sounds] >> go ahead and tell us a little bit about themis mission here and how long you guys have been
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here since hurricane harvey. >> would actually get here in texas on the 27th and came down houston on the 28th. the bulk of our team arrived after that. our goal the entire time we were here is to support his state of texas and now the effects of hurricane harvey. there's a lot of things that go into that. a lot of search and rescue operations, we have people to report this day. ..
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we've got about 4000 people supporting hurricane harvey pentax is right now. that number absent flows as the needs of the disaster go on. so far we've registered 750,000 survivors. we only accept one application per household. the number helping is significantly higher. a variety of number of people per day and location, and were each area is in the disaster recovery process. >> walk us through what happens when the victim walks to i disaster relief center. >> we call them survivors. as he walked to the wealth sit down with someone, asked in the couple basic questions, have you registered? are you looking to update your
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case? what are you here? how can we help you? on their we will direct them to a variety of different agencies and services that exist inside the disaster recovery center. we've got to different portions of fema, our individual assistance which is the safest most people, looking for. each of those tables they could either register they are survivor or answer any questions they may have to do a status check in some cases. they can sit with our mitigation folks to figure out as a start the recovery process how can they make sure there let's risk next time. there's number of agencies and and a number of other disaster recovery centers will have state health and human services, department of motor vehicles 12 with documents and drivers license and things like that. the department of veterans affairs, sorry, the veterans administration is. the federal level to help them with their services as well. we have a large number of representatives from the small business administration.
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we really parted to give as a look at how we can help people recover. providing assistance in the form of grants, provide a maximum $33,000 piccola people won't come close to the maximum grant but we want to make sure providing as much assistance as we can. you look at the damage for most people even if they did hit the maximum grant they are not talking about it being enough for the recovery. the small business of section despite the deed being business can we do are a lot of assistance of people in terms of low interest disaster loans that will help bridge the gap for people. regardless whether not people want to take the loan, we need them to thought the application and they can make a decision afterwards what the want to do but we need that information to continue the loan process. it's part of why we partner with the sba to make sure they're providing the services and answering those questions helping figure forgot the application process. >> when you say low interest,
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how low is the right of? >> you have asked the sba for exact examples but 1.75, 2% range. we're we're talking very low interest rates. that depends on the credit score and that application. >> once their registered come have fema them and everything what's the next step? how long is it before they are denied or get assistance from fema? >> right now, but the backup to the next up after the register is for an expected to contact angela to the damage. we need to make sure the damage they sustain is from the storm. we also need to make sure they captured everything accurately. i'm not a structural engineer. most people don't know enough about the damages so we'll sent an inspector to make sure they're capturing everything. the wait time for inspectors is up three days because of the sheer volume of people in the disaster. on average most disasters what we're doing is about ten days. we got 750,000 applications
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right now. although we've already approved i think 240,000 applications. still a long way to go. 2100 inspectors on the ground, that's still a longtime friend. so for people registry right now that weight is about 30 days. it's while we encourage people not to wait to start the cleanup process. take pictures of sir cleaning up. you know how quickly mold can grow. >> you were saying the amount, the highest amount that you could get will not cover everything. when they are in here, you talk to them about other prevention plans and mitigation, tell us about that. >> the best way is of insurance. while we got home what is insured for most of these people, renters insurance, for a lot of these people they don't have flood insurance and that's something we're strongly pushing for. that is a huge gap. homeowners insurance will not cover flood damages. without that insurance they could be left holding the bag with the water damaged equipment
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but how they can reduce the risk. risk. that's part of the mitigation table, they can enter flood insurance questions but also talk about the little things people can do to reduce the risk or damages next time this happens. it can be little things like installing flood vents which is not a solution here, it could be elevating utilities to hire location. the other thing is we can talk about things like elevating the entire home or acquisitions of buyouts but it will depend on what the state uses to prioritize when you look at how to spend mitigation dollars. >> in the past with hurricane katrina, people have become painfully aware of the fema trailers. tell us about that. i know you guys have moved away from the program somewhat. are they available here? >> at this point they are not. there are no fema trailers in texas at the moment. we got a bad rap for what happened there.
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we have changed our process to make sure insight -- all that is up to industry standards, not something we can control. we buy the same products people normally buy, it just runs to us and becomes part of our assistance programs. one of the reasons we look at mobile housing units or travel trailers is more of a last resort for a lot of people is because it's not the solution to try for everyone. we want to encourage people to use rental assistance to rent a property or use transitional shelter assisted which is the hotel program. those resources provide little more stability, more wraparound services. the other thing is they provide for people is economic influx back in the community. where a travel trailer doesn't if you're ready to -- renting a property, we know economic have is a huge part. it's a solution but not a social and fun. there's lot of things that
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become concerns and things that work through to make them unrealistic possibly to include space. look around, there's not a ton of places but those sorts of things. you have got to make sure as meza broken their not being put back into the floodplains and they cut electricity and it got waste water, water services, all these services that most homes are not designed to handle right after disaster. it's an in-depth program. we try and work through the process and find the right solution. right now the state is leading the task force and they're looking for solution quickly and make a nest with a better i don't know what you're talking about but there are a lot of options on the table and the state is taking a lead on that. >> is that included in the application process or is that a separate? >> that's part of the same process. we ask them which deliver what's their living situation like.
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we may look towards the rental or hotel program. it's going to be a longer-term solution than probably rental assistance i is the right answer for them. we need to check things like eligibility but those the conversation we'll be having through the regular application process. >> i understand fema offers other kinds of assistance like funeral arrangements and stuff like that you were talking about. >> through our other needs assistance program, we like using new terms, new acronyms. we can help with the contents of your home, clothing, furniture, appliances that we can also help out with vehicle or medical and dental expenses, burial expenses you may have incurred after a disaster. we want to make sure they understand what types of services we need to up with and if they're telling us that -- ik at the big picture because there are other resources we may be able to help with but also we may be built to connect with voluntary groups or other
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agencies than they be able to help with some other needs. >> do you guys have come you are dealing with two major hurricanes. what are some of the challenges you've encountered with that with two major hurricanes back-to-back? >> or join our workforce is designed to handle to catastrophic incidences. i know hardy was catastrophic of i don't have great visibility was going on in florida but i'm sure we'll find someone thinks there. our workforce is a site handle that. what we're talking about is to have the shared resources to respond to a disaster. we are billed for this. we have a number of our partner agencies, the sba being inside, fantasies, hhs is on the ground, the coast guard has been here. a lot of different partners have played a role here. we really rely on them in any disaster and it come to the table and this one is so. when we start talking about our manpower we have resources to dhs called the surge capacity force would be can look at our partner agencies for bodies to help us and use the skill sets to transfer into providing
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assistance to disaster survivors. >> you have a large number of staff here. is there after a certain point where things start winding down, or how long will fema stay? >> we will be here as long as the state want to spend needs us. as we start looking at programs, as we roll through disaster the recovery process is given. our recovery ever to focus on individuals and as long as that application process if you're those types of staff will be a nuclear after the close of process. we so looking to damaged infrastructure and reimbursement tuesday of the government. it's a different group of people and we shall talk about mitigation actions. it's different parts of fema programs, of our partner agencies that will roll through this the course of disaster. awful we don't need the search and rescue teams even more so we shifted to another aspect as a goal for different types of staff will come in. >> start us off with when did

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